It’s been almost a week since the Garcia children lost their mom and dad to a horrific car accident, but in the that time span the community has come together to support them and it’s only getting stronger.
Immigration law enforcement officials pulled Santos Hilario Garcia and his wife, Marcelina Garcia Perfecto, over on March 13. The undocumented couple attempted to flee ICE officials but lost control of their SUV. The vehicle hit a utility pole, and overturned. Officials pronounced them dead at the scene.
The community in Delano, California and people throughout the country have rallied together to help the six children, now orphans, have some kind of financial stability.
In just three days, a fundraiser set up for the six kids (ages 8 to 18) has surpassed its $40,000 goal.
Delano Police identify Santo Hilario Garcia, 35, and Marcelina Garcia Profecto, 33, as the couple who died yesterday in a crash near Kern Valley State Prison. Police say the couple was trying to get away from ICE. pic.twitter.com/KlmPwmg3nL
— Kristin Price (@KPriceKGET) March 14, 2018
The GoFundme page, set up by Linda Hinojosa, who works in social services in Delano, has quickly raised tens of thousands of dollars in less than a week. According to the fundraising site, the Garcia’s eldest daughter will raise her younger siblings along with her own 19-month old son.
Family and friends will bury Santos and Marcelina in their native Guerrero, Mexico. Their children, however, won’t be able to leave the U.S. and attend the funeral.
“Because of our broken immigration system, unfortunately the children will not be able to see their parents laid to rest,” Hinojosa writes on GoFundme. “This tragic loss has created tremendous hardship for the children, on top of the already traumatic experience of suddenly losing both parents. Your financial support is desperately needed to ensure this hardworking loving family is able to remain together and continue their life in Delano. Your support will help these children pay for rent, food and other basic necessities. Thank you for your generosity and compassion.”
United Farm Workers has also shown the support for the Garcia family.
UFW President Arturo Rodriguez speaks with family of 2 farm workers who died yesterday
Posted by UFW on Wednesday, March 14, 2018
UFW President Arturo Rodriguez has spoken out on behalf of the family soon after the accident took place. Both Santos and Marcelina worked in the agriculture and were on their way to work when ICE pulled them over.
“What is the reason for ICE stopping these people,” Leydy Rangel at UFW said to The Los Angeles Times. “Is it just because they matched the description, which is what, a brown, farm working family? We’re hoping to get a clearer sense of that. What’s the practice they’re using to detain random people?”
According to several news reports, ICE mistakenly took Santos as their prime suspect. That is why ICE officers attempted to detain him.